Announcing Kills Spree: A Boozy Sail to Staten Island

Kills Spree

WHAT: Kills Spree: A Boozy Sail to Staten Island With Kills Boro Brewing
WHEN: Saturday, November 4, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Note: We’ll be taking the 12:30 p.m. ferry.
WHERE: Staten Island Ferry (Whitehall Terminal) (Note: We’ll be holding a sign in the boarding area.)
TICKETS: $30. They’re available now.

Staten Island might be New York City’s final frontier for beer, the borough you never quite find time to visit.

Today, we’re going to remedy that with Kills Spree, a boozy sail to Staten Island with Kills Boro Brewing Company.

Haven’t heard of Kills Boro? It’s Philip Gardner, Patrick Wade and Sean Torres, former members of area homebrew club Pour Standards. In September, they installed a 10-barrel brewery beside the Craft House Bar, one of Staten Island’s best. They make beers like Lei, a tropical cream ale crammed with toasted coconut, and juicy, hazy single-hopped IPAs.

We’ll meet the founders in Manhattan, at the Staten Island Ferry terminal, where they’ll come toting plenty of Kills Boro beer. Once we’re aboard we’ll commence with the booze cruise of your dreams—for 25 minutes or so. In Staten Island, the Kills Boro crew will Pied Piper us on a 15-minute walk to the brewery, where you’ll get a private behind-the-scenes tour and try plenty of tank-fresh beer.

Afterward, you can set sail around the corner to Flagship Brewing to try more locally brewed beer, or take some Kills Boro brews back to the ferry to create your own private booze cruise.

I’ll be leading the tour. And wearing fanciful nautical gear.

Get Fresh: Unfiltered IPAs and Just-Canned Beers at KCBC


Hope everyone is enjoying the start to fall, or summer jr., as it seems to be weather-wise in New York City.  As for the future, we have plenty of beer events on the horizon. Mark your calendars for the next edition of Can Jam, at Threes Brewing on Sunday, October 29, and a booze cruise aboard the Staten Island Ferry with the Kills Boro crew on Saturday, November 4. More details to come on those in the coming weeks.

Next up, though, I’ve partnered with Kings County Brewers Collective to create an event where you get to drink the absolute freshest canned IPAs before they’re even released to the public. Without additional ado…

WHAT: Get Fresh: Unfiltered IPAs and Just-Canned Beers at KCBC
WHEN: Saturday, October 21, 12 p.m.–2 p.m.
WHERE: Kings County Brewers Collective (381 Troutman St. between Wyckoff and Irving Avenues, Bushwick, Brooklyn)
COST: $35. Tickets are available now.

Canning beer is hard, thirsty work, the kind that makes brewers want to drink the fruits of their labor.

You? You don’t have to lift a single finger, except for the ones wrapped around a beer can. Your job is to drink beer. And today, you’re going to drink like a brewer.

For Get Fresh, we’re heading deep into the brewhouse at Kings County Brewery Collective, Bushwick’s best brewery, where we’ll crush freshly canned amber-hued hop bombs and hazy double IPAs with the brewers.

Fresh cans not fresh enough for you? No problem. We’ll also sip beers straight from the fermentation tanks, just like a brewer does to test quality–no matter how many times it takes. Can you tell the difference? How does the beer evolve? Why do you need to add CO2? How does time affect the beer’s flavor? Ever had a question you wanted to ask a brewer? Here’s your chance.

This event will be a unique behind-the-scenes peek into a brewery, where the beer will flow as freely as the stories. You get to live out the best part of being a brewer–the drinking, duh–without having to clean a single tank.

It’s time to Get Fresh.

Note: Just 40 tickets will be available. Your host will be Complete Beer Course and Complete IPA author Joshua M. Bernstein.

Fall 2017: The Complete Writing Roundup


Words, words, words. It’s been a banner season for writing, my friends, what with another book on the horizon and whatnot. Curious about what I’ve written lately? Wildly bored at work? Both? Here’s your chance to kill time and take a deep dive into my mind. And if you’re a publicist, for the last time, I don’t write about wine.

The New York Times, “Beer Makers Who Used Other Breweries Are Opening Their Own”: Why gypsy and contract brewers are opening up brick-and-mortar outposts.

The New York Times, “11-Hour Lines for a New Ale? Fans Wait, Breweries Worry”: Double IPAs make folks do the darndest things.

The New York Times, “Why Settle for a Brew When There’s a Whole Brewery?”: On the newest batch of breweries to pop up in New York City.

Gear Patrol: “How the Beer Can Became a Canvas for Breweries” 

Imbibe, “Blonde Ambition”: Why brewers are embracing blonde ales.

Imbibe, “How Craft Brewers Are Writing Their Second Acts”

Imbibe, “’Tis the Season for Holiday Beer”: Why do folks go so crazy for Christmas beer?

Good Beer Hunting, “The Skyline’s the Limit”: On drinking beer 60 feet above New York City, with detours into porn and 9/11.

Draft, “Hip Hops”: Having ridden freight trains and managed a record label, Brooklyn’s spirited Jesse Ferguson faces his newest adventure: running NYC’s next great brewery and distillery.

Men’s Journal, “Rosé by Another Name”:  Beer and cider are tickled pink, too.

Men’s Journal, “A Lesson in Restraint: Getting to Know Table Beer”

Men’s Journal,“In the Golden Age of IPAs, Consumers Deserve Clearer Bottle-Dating”

Wine Enthusiast, “The Foggy and Flavorful World of Unfiltered Beer”: I dive deep into the haze craze.

Wine Enthusiast, “Discover Second Runnings: Small Beers With Big Flavors”: Who knew? Smaller is sometimes better.

BeerAdvocate Magazine, “Wholesale Change: Breweries and Upstart Distributors Are Writing New Rules for Selling Beer”

BeerAdvocate Magazine, “Wort’s Weird Journey: Beer’s Sometimes Unpredictable Path From Grain to Glass”

October: “The Session IPA Is Dead! Long Live the Session IPA”

October: “Right Proper Spins Old Yeast Into a New Yarn”

October: “Run the Jewels Puts Extra Hops in Their Hip-Hop”

October: “Smooth Move: Ballast Point and the Mouthfeel Movement”

October: “Bruery Terreux’s Turo: Is It Even Beer?”

Announcing: Reggae, Satay and IPAs


WHAT: Reggae, Satay and IPAs: A Malaysian Brunch Dance Party. Or Just Brunch!
WHEN: Sunday, August 13, 2 p.m.–5 p.m.
WHERE: Ditmas Park, Brooklyn

Most New Yorkers have this fantasy: own a place with enough space where anything is possible. Deep in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn, Auria Abraham and Jeremy “Mush1” Mushlin have turned their basement into a speakeasy-style escape—wood-paneling, bar, booming speakers—while the lush backyard is a grilling paradise.

Auria makes some of the city’s most marvelous Malaysian food. Mush1 is a trumpeter, reggae producer, member of Top Shotta Band and host of WNYU Radio’s Tunnel One.

Together, they throw some of the best parties this side of Kingston, Jamaica. This afternoon, they’re partnering with me to create Reggae, Satay and IPAs: A Malaysian Brunch Dance Party.

While Mush1 lays beats, Auria will cook an all-you-can-eat feast counting spinach-and-chickpea fritters (painted with mango-habanero coulis), rojak (a vibrant fruit and vegetable salad with cucumbers, pineapple, jicama, fried tofu, green papaya and guava) and traditional Malaysian beef, chicken and tofu satay. They’ll be paired with pressed rice cakes and homemade chunky peanut sauce, while sticky coconut rice topped with pandan kaya will serve as dessert.

To drink, Interboro Spirits & Ales will be on hand, including brewer Jesse Ferguson, with kegs aplenty of IPAs and pilsners, the kind of beers that’ll keep the afternoon flowing.

Come crush beers. Crunch flame-licked satay. And cut a rug. Or just crush more beers. Until you cut a rug. It’ll be the boozy Sunday brunch dreams are made of even for folks that have kids. Like us.

Announcing: Meet Randolph—An Early Sneak Preview of the Randolph Beer DUMBO Brewery


WHAT: Meet Randolph—An Early Sneak Preview of Randolph Beer DUMBO
WHEN: Thursday, July 20, 6:30 p.m.–9 p.m.
WHERE: 77 Sands Street (near Jay Street), DUMBO, Brooklyn
TICKETS: $35. Includes dinner and endless beer. 

Brooklyn is in the midst of a brewery boom, with beer makers popping up in every nook and cranny of the borough. Next month welcomes Brooklyn’s latest entrant, Randolph Beer DUMBO.

Randolph? Does that name ring a bell? That’s because the Randolph groupruns two all-star beer bars in NoLiTa and Williamsburg. This spanking-new location will focus on a highly curated selection of beers complemented by house-made concoctions (think: hop-focused pale ales, rustic saisons) cooked up by Brooklyn Brewery veteran J.R. Jordan.

While the brewery is not yet open to the public, you’ll get an early sneak preview of the 5,500-square-foot space, meet the brewery crew and sip through an endless stream of beers and feast on sliders (vegetarian and carnivorous), warm grain bowls and pretzels partnered with homemade beer cheese. Randolph will do his very best to charm you.

Your host will be Brooklyn beer journalist Joshua M. Bernstein, who will say many words while drinking many beers.

Announcing: The New Brooklyn Homebrew Tour and An Early Look at Five Boroughs


Fine drinkers!

Well, that was a heat wave, wasn’t it? Well, at least there’s cold beer, and plenty of it.

For starters, thanks so much for buying tickets to the Crown Heights Homebrew Tour. We sold out, but never fear. We have two great events the weekend of July 8 and 9: another homebrew tour and an early look at Brooklyn’s Five Boroughs Brewing. Curious?

WHAT: Prospect Heights and Fort Greene Homebrew Tour
WHEN: Sunday, July 9, 1 p.m.
WHERE: Prospect Heights and Fort Greene, Brooklyn
TICKETS: $35. They’re available now.

Today’s tour will walk us through Prospect Heights and Fort Greene, Brooklyn. We’ll sip Jon Serluco’s pale ales and ambers, then try Alex Biedermann’s wild and funky farmhouse ales and saisons—some of my favorite beers from this year’s Homebrew Jamboree. Lastly, we’ll wrap up with Alex Kalaf’s fragrant West Coast IPAs, as crushable as the summer days are long. Note: Today’s guide will be Sheri Lyn, a founding member of the Brewminaries homebrew club.

Here are the details on the special sneak preview of Brooklyn’s next great brewery, Five Boroughs.

WHAT: Take Five—An Early Look at Five Boroughs Brewing Co. 
WHERE: 215 47th Street, Sunset Park, Brooklyn
WHEN: Saturday, July 8, 1 p.m.
TICKETS: $30. They’re available now.

Some folks journey to Sunset Park for tacos, others for dumplings and hand-yanked noodles. On Saturday, July 8, fans of spanking-fresh IPAs, pilsners, and raspberry goses should make hay to the melting-pot neighborhood for an early look at Five Boroughs Brewing Co., New York City’s latest and greatest brewery.

Haven’t heard of Five Boroughs? That’s because the team has spent the better part of two years turning a bygone factory into a 30-barrel production facility (read: huge) and spacious taproom dedicated to New York City’s dynamic and creative spirit.

Five Boroughs beers are made for the Bronx’s hidden trails and sprawling Manhattan avenues. For lounging in Staten Island backyards and on Brooklyn fire escapes. For cutting out early in Queens and staying out late everywhere. The brewery’s goal is to create a culture that encompasses every New Yorker, offering beers they can call their own.

The brewery isn’t yet open to the public. But this afternoon Five Boroughs will open for a special behind-the-scenes tour complete with samples of the ready-for-primetime beer (more on that below). We’ll also have food, likely the finest tamales Sunset Park can offer.

Ready to Take Five? Tickets are limited. The experience: not to be repeated.


Pilsner – The Czech-style pilsner is light in color and body, with a clean, bitter finish. Czech Saaz hops impart soft floral and grassy aromas. This style is deceptively difficult to brew, and we’ve worked hard to refine this underrated lager. (5.0% ABV)

Gose – An incredibly drinkable low-ABV beer, our Gose is a textbook blend of acidic sourness and saltiness. Fermented cool with our house ale yeast, this beer finishes super clean with barely-there bitterness. (4.0% ABV)

Raspberry Gose – The clean, pleasantly salty Gose is conditioned on heaps of ripe raspberries. The result is a flawless blend of salty tartness and sweet fruit. This spin on our standard Gose has a refreshingly prickly carbonation and a noticeable dryness that perfectly accompanies New York City summers. (4.0% ABV)

IPA – Our IPA is a modern take on the West Coast original. We add most of the hops late in the brewing process, resulting in a colossal aroma of citrus balanced by herbs and pine. Flaked wheat and Optic malt contribute complexity and body, but this beer is all about hop aroma and bitterness. (6.8% ABV)

Helles – Our take on this classic Munich lager is brewed with Hallertau hops, German pilsner malt, and soft New York City tap water. The Helles is a testament to precisely balanced, high-quality raw materials. Fermented long and cold with our house lager yeast, this Helles offers a crackery malt backbone and restrained bitterness. (4.5% ABV)

Wheat Pilsner – Wheat malt and Motueka hops may be the last ingredients youd expect in a traditional pilsner, but they provide the old-world beer with distinctive new-world flavors. Late-addition Motueka hops lend a nice lime-zest character and the German wheat malt adds a bit of tartness with a soft, creamy mouthfeel. (5.5% ABV)

Mosaic Pale Ale – Our Mosaic Pale Ale starts with a grain bill that includes a generous amount of pale rye malt and flaked wheat. Next comes a massive addition of Mosaic hops, resulting in huge notes of tropical fruit, berries, and citrus. The Pale Ale’s profile is accentuated by small additions of Chinook hops, which contribute a balancing piney-herbal character. (5.8% ABV)

Announcing: Can Jam—Summer Edition

can jam letter-page-001 (1)

Fine drinkers,

Hope everyone is having a great spring so far. We’ve got some killer events planned for the coming months, including a return of the homebrew tours (!).

First things first, I’ve once again partnered with Threes Brewing to run another edition of our Can Jam. And this one is a doozy.

WHAT: Can Jam Summer Edition
WHERE: Threes Brewing (333 Douglass St.), Gowanus, Brooklyn
WHEN: Sunday, June 4, 12 p.m.– 6 p.m.
COST: Free to attend. Pay as you palm the cans.
FACEBOOK LINK: Right here. 

Can you dig it? This afternoon, slap on some sunscreen and boogey to Threes for our latest Can Jam, featuring many of the country’s biggest and rarest cult beers. Ever wanted to crush cans from the The Veil, Hoof Hearted, Proclamation, Fair State, Seventh Son, and the Big Apple’s all-stars (Other Half, LIC Beer Project, Finback and more)? Here’s your chance.

Also: We’ll also have two beer bongs. And cans of Graft Cider.

Note: Cans are for on-premise consumption only. And they will be priced to pound.

Announcing: Winter’s Grind at Arrogant Swine—Part III


What: Winter‘s Grind at the Arrogant Swine: Part III
When: Saturday, March 18, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Arrogant Swine (173 Morgan Avenue at Scholes Street); Bushwick, Brooklyn
Tickets: $35 with special discount code SWINE. Includes endless sausage and 25 unique beers.
Note: Tickets are available here. Tickets will be $45 after March 1.

Tyson Ho likes sausage. Joshua M. Bernstein and Chris Cuzme? They like beer.

To combine two of life’s greatest pleasures, the comrades-in-consumption are once again joining forces for the third edition of Winter‘s Grind at the Arrogant Swine, Ho’s Bushwick-based BBQ joint.

Ho and his fellow chef friends will be hand-cranking all-you-can-eat sausages such as chicken satay, veal sausage with Pakistani fire seasoning and Sicilian lamb stigghiola. (Don’t worry: vegetarians will have a dining option too.)

On the all-you-can-drink side, Cuzme and Bernstein have hand-selected 10 of the city’s top homebrewers to make dark and delightful beers, including the crews from Bitter & Esters and Mary Izett’s marvelously offbeat fast ferments.

Moreover, they’ve tabbed 15 of NYC’s best and newest breweries to supply drinkers with the finest March-friendly beers. That means you’ll be drinking Finback, Other Half, Strong Rope, Keg & Lantern, Barrier, Kings County Brewers Collective and so many more. Around 25 unique, rarely tasted brews will endlessly pour.

Winter’s lingering chill won’t stand a chance.

Announcing Jimmy’s Homebrew Jamboree, Take Five

jimmys-homebrew-jamboreeEvent: Jimmy’s Homebrew Jamboree, Take Five
When: Sunday, February 26, 12 p.m.–3 p.m.
Where: Jimmy’s No. 43 (43 East Seventh Street, NYC)
Tickets: $35. They go on sale Wednesday, January 4, at 12 p.m.
Ticket link: Grab them here.

It’s a fact: Local homebrewers are making some of the Big Apple’s best beer. To celebrate their creations (and drink them too!), we’re taking over every square inch of Jimmy’s No. 43. Again.

For the fifth edition of Jimmy’s Homebrew Jamboree, we’ve enlisted 16 of our favorite brewers (many of whom are planning to go pro) to make special beers for the event. Expect IPAs, double IPAs, saisons, stouts and the odd sour. The variety will be as endless as the beers are delicious.

In addition to unlimited beer, you’ll be well fed too. Jimmy’s is providing a smorgasbord of goodies including: mini cheeseburger sliders, kielbasa, Sigmund’s soft pretzels, grilled cheese and veggie tacos.

IPA for the Holidays


It wouldn’t be the holidays if I weren’t flogging the heck out of my book and drinking way too many double IPAs. For one final event before the year drifts away, I’m partnering with my friends at Brooklyn beer hall Berg’n and Interboro, who will be toting a sleigh full of freshly canned double IPAs. Buy a book, get a beer and buzz! Getting bitter for the holidays has never felt so good.

WHAT: Complete IPA Book Signing at Berg’n
WHEN: Thursday, December 22, 6 p.m.– 9 p.m.
WHERE: 899 Bergen Street (between Classon and Franklin), Brooklyn, New York

November Writing: The Overdue Round-up


Hey friends, it’s been a roller coaster of a couple months, skittering across the country to drink my body weight in double IPAs while, well, promoting Complete IPA.  In the meantime, I’ve been writing. Words. So many words! So many words about beer! And life! And how it all fits in together. Below, here’s a smattering on what I’ve published over the last three or four months. Bored? You’re in luck! these stories should ably waste a few minutes of your day.

Imbibe, “Old News”:  Craft brewers are reviving ancient styles to set themselves apart.

Imbibe, “Like a Good Neighbor”: Local breweries are becoming the essential neighborhood hubs.

Draft, “Love Bites”: How Mekelburg’s became a Brooklyn beer and gourmet mecca.

Men’s Journal, “Our Next Vice President’s Favorite Place to Drink”: Hint: It’s in Virginia.

Men’s Journal, “What Was the Last Beer That Blew Your Mind?”: It’s a telephone game of deliciousness.

Men’s Journal, “How to Survive a Summer Vacation With Your Kids”: Drink?

Men’s Journal, “The Beer Drinker’s Guide to Summer Wine”

Wine Enthusiast, “A Fresh Guide to Hops in Beer”: Become an instant expert on beer’s most prized flowers. Wet, fresh or dried, know the difference and discover essential hop varieties.

Wine Enthusiast, “Yeast Mode”: Think only hops and grains guide beer’s flavor? You’re overlooking a crucial tastemaker.

Eater, “Beer Review: Evil Twin Sour Bikini Tastes Like Liquid Flintstones Vitamins

Eater, “Beer Review: Allagash’s Little Brett Takes a Walk on the Wild Side”

Eater, “Beer Review: Starr Hill Four Kings IPA Variety Pack” 

Eater, “Why You Should Drink House Beer” 

BeerAdvocate Magazine, “The Imitation Game”: How brewers create consistency across a range of different facilities.

Bon Appétit, “Six Beer Trends to Look Out for in 2017”: Here’s why you’ll fall into lager.

Bon Appétit, “Maple Syrup Is Surprisingly Delicious in Beer”: It is!

Bon Appétit, “IPAs for People Who *Think* They Hate Them”:  Bye-bye, bitterness.

Bon Appétit, “You’re Either Going to Love or Loathe Cucumber Beer”:  Where do you sit on the fence?

Bon Appétit, “An Ode to Pilsners”:  Why should be crushing these crazy refreshers.

Culture, “Cheese + Beer: Saison”: Pairing cheese with spring saisons is a boss move.

Culture, “Cheese + Beer: Cream Ales”:  Or maybe you’d favor a crisp, slightly cream ale.

First We Feast, “8 Common IPA Myths, Debunked” 

Announcing: Can Jam at Threes Brewing


WHAT: Can Jam
WHERE: Threes Brewing (333 Douglass St.), Gowanus, Brooklyn
WHEN: Sunday, November 6, 12 p.m.– 5 p.m.

New York City breweries make some of the Northeast’s best IPAs. Cracking into an aluminum-clad double IPA, however, often requires traveling directly to every brewery and waiting in line.

Today you don’t need to wait.

To celebrate my latest book, Complete IPA, we’ve corralled fresh canned IPAs from 11 of the area’s best IPA breweries, counting Other Half, Grimm, Finback, KCBC, Interboro, and more. Cans will be sold in the backyard, where I’ll sign copies of my book and gawk in terror and wonder at the beer-bong competition.

I repeat, we will have a beer bong.

The event is free to attend. Cans are only available for on-site consumption, though we will have a limited number of book-and-beer gift packs available to go.

P.S. Want extra reason to celebrate? It’s the NYC Marathon, which will sprint past on nearby Fourth Avenue.
Beer List (to date):

** Greenpoint Beer & Ale Co.: Flannel Shirt (Red IPA)
** Grimm Artisanal Ales: Tesseract (Double IPA)
Interboro NYC: The Next Episode (Double IPA)
** Gun Hill Brewing Company: Roll Call: EC3 (East Coast IPA)
** LIC Beer Project: Backjump
** Kings County Brewers Collective: Robot Fish #1 and Robot Fish #2 (Session IPAs)
** Finback Brewery: Chromoscope (Double IPA dry-hopped with Simcoe) / Cell (IPA dry-hopped with Citra)
** Other Half Brewing Company / Trillium Brewing Company Like Whoa (Double IPA)
** Threes Brewing Unreliable Narrator (IPA) and Other Ephemera (Hoppy Lager)
** Evil Twin Brewing Imperial Simcoe Slacker (Double IPA)
** Stillwater Artisanal Nu-Tropic (Tropical IPA)